FAISALABAD: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has said that polls in two provinces – Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – will be unconstitutional as they would lead to the next general elections not being held under caretaker setups in the provinces.
Addressing a press conference at his residence here on Sunday, the minister said the government wanted general elections for the National Assembly as well as all the provincial assemblies to be held on the same day under their respective caretaker setups. “Constitutionally, a caretaker setup is required for the provincial and National Assembly elections. No one will accept the results of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa if held under political governments later this year,” the interior minister said.
“This will increase uncertainty in the country. Is that what you want?” he continued, referring to demands by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan calling for elections in the two provinces. “We want elections to be held across the country simultaneously,” the minister said, adding: “Whenever the elections are held, the nation will reject you [PTI] with the power of the vote.”
Rana Sanaullah, however, emphasised that the government would follow the decision of the Supreme Court and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on the elections. Referring to Saturday’s situation at the Judicial Complex in Islamabad during the hearing of cases against Imran, the interior minister accused the PTI chief of attacking the courts with armed activists. “This was hooliganism. If this tradition is allowed to continue, any person will go to the courts with armed groups and trample the law,” he said.
“If Imran’s attendance was to be marked outside the court, it could have easily been done on the Canal Road or Toll Plaza,” he remarked. Sana said that Imran was constantly trying to mislead the nation with his lies. He alleged that Imran was promoting culture of incivility in politics, as he “does nothing but blames his political opponents”.
The minister regretted that Imran uttered foul remarks about Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz who, he claimed, was “boldly exposing his agenda and false allegations to mislead the masses”. “She will continue to expose the PTI’s ugly face. Imran should tell the people where are those who incurred Rs50 billion loss to the national kitty. Tell the people where Farah Gogi is,” he said. He said that that the signing of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement by Imran Khan and then its violation by his government was a deep-rooted conspiracy to destabilise Pakistan, which would be foiled with the support of people. He clarified that, despite having valid search warrants, the police did not enter the family area of Imran’s Lahore residence. He also claimed that a senior police officer was manhandled as he was on official duty to comply with court orders. He added that illegal weapons and petrol bombs had been seized and miscreants arrested from the Zaman Park. “Imran Khan will have to answer why he had kept 100 armed terrorists at his residence,” he said.